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An Update on Security and Vigilance at Congregation Brith Shalom

Our shul takes great pride in being an intimate community that welcomes everyone.  However, recent events and incidents across the United States involving violent acts of crime directed at Jewish institutions, including the horrific mass shooting that occurred at Tree of Life - Or L'Simcha Congregation in Squirrel Hill, Pennsylvania, last month, have highlighted the need for increased security and vigilance at Congregation Brith Shalom.

While our past responses to these events and incidents were previously deemed adequate, there has been a growing sense that, with recent events, more can and should be done to assure our safety and well-being.  Consequently, the CBS Board of Trustees recently approved the formation of a Special Ad Hoc committee to investigate, research, and develop a long-term security plan for CBS to address this need for increased security and vigilance at CBS.  This committee is charged with preparing and presenting their findings, together with such recommendations for measures deemed necessary and appropriate, as well as the resulting budgetary impact and funding mechanism, at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the CBS Board of Trustees set for December 20, 2018.

Of course, some changes in our security protocol need to be made without delay. Therefore, the Board of Trustees authorized and directed Melissa Magenheim, CBS Interim Synagogue Administrator, to take any and all reasonable steps and actions necessary to address the immediate and pressing needs facing CBS under its current conditions of security. This includes meeting with local law enforcement for guidance as well as the calculation and assessment of a Special Security Fee to cover the anticipated out-of-existing-budget costs for implementing such measures.

It is our hope and prayer that these efforts will continue to allow us to be a warm, welcoming community and, at the same time, keep us safe and secure from harm.

Following the Thanksgiving weekend, please feel free to contact Melissa Magenheim at (713) 667-9201; or, email her at [email protected]; or, call me via mobile, (713) 858-9407 or email me at [email protected] if you have any questions or if you would like to get involved in these important efforts.

Thank you in advance for your support.
Best wishes for a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.


Stephan Rubin, President
Congregation Brith Shalom